Wedged between the communities of Bartlett’s Harbour and Castor River North is White Point. It’a natural beauty offers an incredible nature and walking experience as you crest along the coastline and hug the forest on your journey.
The Great Northern Peninsula has an impressive network of walking trails and one of the newest additions is located off Route 430 at the Castor River North and Bartlett’s Harbour turnout. As you approach the community of Bartlett’s Harbour on the left you will see a boat with moose antlers, a number of picnic tables, benches and other features that mark the beginning of the White Point Trail. There isn’t any designated parking at this current time, but there is no issue with parking at roadside and enjoying the serene and picturesque views along this more than 2 KM walking trail return. Trail rating: Easy.
As you walk the crushed stone pathway you immediately have to stop to view the inukshuk, teepee and other pieces that have a dedication to our indigenous people, who have been in the region for more than 5,000 years. The community of Bartlett’s Harbour has a large percentage of the population that identify as aboriginal.
In mid-August, I took a few minutes to go off Route 430 (Viking Trail) to take the White Point trail. The results were these pristine images of forests, bodies of water and I truly felt I was in a very special place, connected deeply with Mother Nature. There are ample rest areas, including the very popular green tree chair. I love the creativity and innovation that exist with residents of our local communities. All of this adds to the uniqueness of our home and special feeling one gets when visiting.
It was quite exciting to see what the local development association and the local employees had achieved through a Job Creation Partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. These partnerships created something not only for the local residents to enjoy on a daily basis but for those in the region and those visiting to truly appreciate this corner of the world. The community of Bartlett’s Harbour and the Development Association have a plan to expand and connect the two neightbouring communities through various phases of trail development. In October, I returned to the trail and got to check out the expansion closer to the point. On my journey this time, I even saw a moose. The trail was still in progress but this phase has since been completed. I look forward to returning in the 2021 hiking season!
The impressive Highlands of St. John are in view and this really is a remarkable place to have a picnic, pick some berries, read a book or just truly enjoy the awe inspiring view. Bartlett’s Harbour and the expanded White Point Trail is one of those places well worth turning off and experiencing for yourself the beauty that is the Great Northern Peninsula.
Learn more about the Great Northern Peninsula’s trails by clicking here.
Live Rural NL –
I was first introduced to the talking stick when I had to work on a project for the Big Droke Cultures Foundation and had a conversation with a Representative of the Bartlett’s Harbour Band Council. She had provided me with a wealth of knowledge of Aboriginal culture and values.
One topic of interest was the Talking Stick. She noted this item was of tribal significant when in a group. The most senior individual, usually a Chief if present will start talking and when holding the stick s/he would not be interrupted. It was meant for courtesy and when the person was finished they would pass it along to the next council member that had something to contribute. This seems like a good approach to conduct business. It appears more mannerly way of getting things done than some of the soundbites and theatrics that come from the House of Commons during question period.
I was fortunate during April 2010, to be able to sit down with an instructor at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Goose Bay, Labrador and make my very own talking stick. At one end, I painted the Labrador Flag with 2010 and the other the FINALY! symbol reflecting the administering organization overseeing the initiative of the Provincial Government’s Youth Retention & Attraction Strategy. In between, I got some inspiration from Vincent van Gough’s “Starry Night” as I painted an impressionable moon, stars, mountains, rivers and other reminders of natural Labrador. I am quite proud of my talking stick and the significance it has to the Aboriginal culture.
Immerse yourself in culture…
Christopher C. Mitchelmore